Wednesday February 20, 2019
Home World NATO Ends Ant...

NATO Ends Anti-Piracy Mission in Indian Ocean after a sharp drop-off in attacks by Somali Pirates

NATO is now shifting resources to deterring Russia in the Black Sea and people smugglers in the Mediterranean

0
//
FILE - As part of the EU Naval Force Somalia, the German Frigate 'Hamburg' patrols after destroying two fishing boats (L) which were discovered floating keel side up in open waters off the coast of Somalia, August 15, 2011. VOA

Nov 23, 2016: NATO has ended Operation Ocean Shield after a sharp drop-off in attacks by Somali pirates.

The Royal Danish Air Force carried out the last Indian Ocean surveillance missions for NATO.

The NATO operation had been one part of a highly successful coordinated international response to the threat of piracy that also included the European Union, the United States and other independent nations.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

During its peak, piracy off the Horn of Africa had an economic impact of $7 billion, with more than 1,000 hostages taken. There hasn’t been a successful piracy attack since 2012, down from more than 30 ships at the peak in 2010-11. The NATO planes flew from the Seychelles.

“They have been giving a lot of assistance to us regarding the piracy issue,” said Colonel Simon Dine, a commander with the Seychelles Coast Guard. “They assist us in training with the Seychelles Coast Guard and the Seychelles People’s Air Force, which has given us a great help to assist in the maintaining of the security of the Seychelles’ territorial water. It’s sad for them to go back, but we are looking forward to continue to work with good relationship for the future.”

The commander of the Danish air force detachment that carried out the last mission emphasized that NATO can resume its anti-piracy efforts at any time – whether in the Somali basin or the Atlantic Ocean.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

NATO is now shifting resources to deterring Russia in the Black Sea and people smugglers in the Mediterranean.

NATO’s spokesman Dylan White said in a statement that the global security environment had changed dramatically in the last few years and that NATO navies had adapted with it.

After more than a decade of NATO-led operations far beyond its borders, the military alliance is shifting its focus to deter Russia in the east, following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

Earlier this month, NATO broadened its operations in the Mediterranean to help the European Union stop criminals trafficking refugees from North Africa. (VOA)

Next Story

Scientists Prepare To Explore Uncharted Indian Ocean

The mission’s principal scientist, Lucy Woodall of Oxford University, said the researchers expect to discover dozens of new species.

0
Indian Ocean
In this image taken from drone video, the Ocean Zephyr is docked in Bremerhaven, Germany, Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019. VOA

Scientists prepared Thursday to embark on an unprecedented, years-long mission to explore the Indian Ocean and document changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades.

The ambitious expedition will delve into one of the last major unexplored frontiers on the planet, a vast body of water that’s already feeling the effects of global warming. Understanding the Indian Ocean’s ecosystem is important not just for the species that live in it, but also for an estimated 2.5 billion people at home in the region — from East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, South and Southeast Asia.

The Nekton Mission, supported by over 40 organizations, will conduct further dives in other parts of the Indian Ocean over three years. The research will contribute to a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean planned for late 2021.

The Ocean Zephyr is preparing to leave Bremerhaven, Germany, on the first leg of trip. Researchers will spend seven weeks surveying underwater life, map the sea floor and drop sensors to depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) in the seas around the Seychelles.

Indian ocean
FILE – An undated and unplaced handout photo obtained from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Dec. 3, 2015, shows Havila Harmony, one of three ships scouring the southern Indian Ocean for the remains of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (VOA)

Little is known about the watery world below depths of 30 meters (100 feet), which scientists from Britain and the Seychelles will be exploring with two crewed submarines and a remotely operated submersible in March and April.

Ronny Jumeau, the Seychelles’ ambassador to the United Nations, said such research is vital to helping the island nation understand its vast ocean territory.

While the country’s 115 islands together add up to just 455 square kilometers (176 sq. miles) of land — about the same as San Antonio, Texas — its exclusive economic zone stretches to 1.4 million square kilometers (540 million square miles) of sea, an area almost the size of Alaska.

Jumeau said the Seychelles aims to become a leader in the development of a “blue economy” that draws on the resources of the ocean. The archipelago relies on fishing and tourism, but has lately also been exploring the possibility of extracting oil and gas from beneath the sea floor.

“Key to this is knowing not only what you have in the ocean around you, but where it is and what is its value,” he said. “It is only when you know this that you can properly decide what to exploit and what to protect and leave untouched.”

Indian ocean
Gunner Richard Brown (L) of Transit Security Element looks through binoculars as he stands on lookout with other crew members aboard the Australian Navy ship HMAS Perth as they continue to search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force April 10, 2014. 

“Research expeditions such as the Nekton Mission are therefore vital to help us fill those gaps and better know our ocean space and marine resources to make wise decisions in planning the future of our blue economy,” Jumeau added.

The island nation of fewer than 100,000 people is already feeling the effects of climate change, with rising water temperatures bleaching its coral reefs.

“Our ocean is undergoing rapid ecological transformation by human activities,” said Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist at the University of York, England, who is a trustee of the mission.

“Seychelles are a critical beacon and bellwether for marine conservation in the Indian Ocean and globally,” he said.

Also Read: Communication of Coral Eating Starfish can save Coral Reefs: Scientists

The mission’s principal scientist, Lucy Woodall of Oxford University, said the researchers expect to discover dozens of new species, from corals and sponges to larger creatures like types of dog-sharks.

The Associated Press is accompanying the expedition and will provide live underwater video from the dives, using new optical transmission technology to send footage from the submarines to the ship and from there, by satellite, to the world. (VOA)